Old-school, with a sense of history
David Sedgwick is a former editor of Automotive News.
Jack Teahen was old-school. In a world enraptured by smartphones, tablets and iPads, he wrote out his data longhand. Books piled up on his desk, and handwritten notes spilled to the floor.
From time to time, the newsroom was entertained by Jack’s chance encounters with the modern world.
He would often have frank exchange of views with his computer after it cut-and-pasted the wrong paragraph, or sent his first draft to the White House instead of the copy desk, or consigned his final copy to digital oblivion.
None of this mattered, of course.
Unlike some industries -- say, cell phones or social networking -- the auto industry has a history. That history affects everything that happens today.
And Jack had an encyclopedic knowledge of it. Having covered autos for half a century, he knew why some models flopped and others succeeded. He knew which executives were to blame and how they got away with it.
Most important, he saw the humor in an industry that sometimes takes itself a little too seriously.
Every newsroom needs a journalist like Jack Teahen. I’m going to miss him.
You can reach David Sedgwick at firstname.lastname@example.org.